It’s 4 in the morning, I wake up for going to Mumbai airport. Yesterday, Friday, I found a cheap flight tickets to Guwahati, and because of Amin is there for the project, I decided to buy it and go there. I take a rikshaw and on the way to the airport, I realized that in my flight ticket is written: Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, and I was going to the national airport. I called to the company to know where did I have to go. I guessed the flight was departing from the national airport, but then I had doubts because the International one is taking more and more national flights because of it dimensions. The company confirms me that it is departing from the national airport, so finally I go there.
I took the flight at 7:30, what arrived in Guwahati at 10:30 with no interruptions. Amin was waiting for me outside the airport with a Royald Enfield (a motorbike) borrowed from a student of the campus. Amin had been invited to make a conference about his life and project during the Annual Day organized by the students of Assam Engineering College, and it took place the day before. That day there were some events like moto stands, music concert in live, and so on. So that, I get on the motorbike with my suitcase on my legs, and went to the campus. We were hosted in a guest house (a very simple bungalow). This campus is like a city for university students, small houses made by wood and concrete hosting the students in the middle of the nature, between mountains. A river crosses all the campus, and the quietness, peace, fresh air and space are found there. I leave my bag in the room and I go with Amin and two students (the Annual Day organizers) to visit the university
Asson as we arrived to the conference room, a university teacher welcomed Amin very warmly, because she attended to his conference. I could see in her eyes the respect and tenderness for him, and then, she invited us to have lunch with her. Then, after leaving the room, a student went straightforward to Amin to show him her admiration for him “it is the best conference I have attended ever, other conferences from yesterday were very interesting, but I really admire your spirit of achievement, determination, and your way of understanding the world and willing to improve it, you are an example to follow, and your speech has the strongest message I have listened to till now” there are some of the words she shared to him. All students were calling him as “sir”, and when he arrived to any place, students offered him their sits and facilities, however, he was rejecting them humbly, because he did not want to have any privilege. I am not writing this in order to put him on airs, I want to show you how the social class are playing in the country and how they affect in their lives. Amin because he was lecturer, any teacher because of their relevance, and me because I am a foreigner, we were given their own sits. Teachers were simply sitting there without any shame, because these superiority feeling is a reality in the Indian society. Students were surprised and they could not believe we could not accept their sits, because of considering ourselves in the same level than them, in the same level than anyone, and the difference between people are not in our mind-set.
After having lunch, we went to a motorbike stand. Three motorbike professionals were doing high level acrobatics, and more than one time I felt worried and scared thinking about the possibility of them being hurt. That motorbikes were doing circles with the motorbike using the break and standing on it or jumping with the motorbike with all the body outside using only one feet as a support point, incredible! When the event was finished, we went to the guesthouse because some students came to interview Amin. They recorded him with a camera and after that… we had all the evening free! So then, we took the motorbike and went to the city.
We had no idea where to go, so we just were roaming the city since we founded a huge river where some fishers were doing their job. This river has an island in the middle, and you can find there the smallest temple of India (if I am not wrong). Some people rent boats and go there to pray, but it was not our case. As I said before, the river was incredibly huge and beautiful! It is a pity that this place is not taken care, you can see all the rubbish floating on the river. There is no awareness of the environment conservation. A woman was carrying two gallons and filled them of the dirty river water. There are some fishing nets, and the fishers in the wooden boats are cooking their dinner with no fear of burning the place where they sleep. In the surface there are some fish sellers selling the same fish fished from the fishers I explained about.
I feel very captivated from the respect and quietness of the people from this place. All of them looks very humble and simple, and at any time I felt as a dollar machine escaping from the tourist haunters. The lack of tourism got confirmed when a student came to me and asked me to fill a questionnaire. He was a tourism student, and he is investigating the reasons of the lack of tourism in their state. I could guess that it is because of the poor advertisement and the distance of the international airports, however, I show him my satisfaction towards it, because the tourism would corrupt the place and the charming would be lost completely.
At night we went back to the campus and met some of the students in the concert area, after that, we went to sleep early because a motorbike ride day crossing beautiful mountains for going to Shilong was waiting for us!